One of my favourite things whilst out in open is camp cooking. I have many different methods, coolers and recipes that I like to use but my favourite item to cook in is a Dutch oven.
No depending on where I am I sometime use the Dutch oven on top of my frontier stove but of course if I’m hiking I’m not going to carry all of this.
I’m quite lucky as I have use of a piece of land that I can drive to so I can get my hammock up and get the Dutch oven cooking.
The great thing about a Dutch oven is the ability to turn the lid over to fry breakfast or bake bannock on it.
This night was a quick “I’ll go camping tonight” so packed a few things grabbed a bag of organic lamb mince from fridge, a few veg, some beer, bacon and sausages and if I headed to this piece of land I can use. This was also the first time hammock camping with the dog.
I got the hammock and tarp up then set to getting a fire kit and started to make tea which was going to be lamb meatball stew.
Roughly cutting veg and making the meatballs using rosemary, egg, breadcrumbs and a little salt and pepper I rolled the meat balls and dropped them into the pot consisting of veg and stock.
Letting it summer for an hour I started in my Polish beers I had brought.
Food was great so me and the dog shared it then sat by the fire for a while then got into hammock which wasn’t easy with her moving around all the time but finally she settled.
The night was cold there was a frost in the morning. I had been using my dd frontline hammock with under blanket and quilt and I was perfectly warm especially with the dog.
Just finished a set of day shifts and fancied a walk out in the woods. Thought I’d go and have a look to see if any mushrooms where up and stop somewhere for a coffee so I took my lk35 bag with a few bits in it.
I had packed my Swiss army stove, kuksa, piece of fat wood and I wanted to try my new Sami knife (puuko) out.
Grabbed the dog and off we went. When I got to one of my mushroom picking areas straight way I noticed that it was going to be to dry for mushrooms but I thought I’d have a look anyway and as I thought nothing about so went exploring as I wanted some new areas.
My main area I don’t think will be any good this year as a lot of trees have been felled as Dunwich is a working forest and my main area has been completely cleared.
I walked through my trail which connect Minsmere to Dunwich Heath and stopped of in an area out of the way to fire up the stove and make a brew.
I had brought the Swiss army stove which is a real versatile little stove for something like brewing coffee.
Using my new knife I carved if some fat wood shavings and a fairly thick piece, gathered some small twigs and using my fire steel and a pice of char cloth got a small fire going in the stove and put the cup on with a coffee bag to brew. Now I only use the amount of water needed for one kuksa so pouring the water from the canteen into the kuksa and then into the cup I had just the right amount for a strong coffee.
Coffee drunk, cleared area so no sign I was there and if we go back to the car and home we go.
Need to wait a few weeks and hope for some rain before going out looking for mushrooms again.
Timber rafting Sweden
I had seen an article online about timber rafting Sweden in 10 trips you must do and one of these trips was right up my street and also my eldest had recently become fascinated with the 80’s series of Hucklebury Finn.
The article was about Timber rafting down a river in Sweden and the more I researched this the more I wanted to do it. It was basically putting together a 2 tonne log raft and letting the rivers current take you down stream over 4 days.
The company that organises these trips is called Vildmark I Varmland located near to Torsby on the Klarälven river that slowly meanders through Värmland from its start in the Norwegian mountains.
“The journey on the raft allows time for discussion and socializing that you often do not have time for in everyday life. But in addition to just enjoying the beautiful surroundings, be prepared for both calm and intense periods on board. Below the water´s surface there is plenty of sand and occasionally stones that you may not see until you are stuck …”
So I had convinced the wife to do this trip so we started planning how to get there. There was a ferry to Esjberg in Denmark from Harwich that would get us into Scandinavia where we could drive to Varmland but when planning this we discovered that this line was to cease before we where going to do this trip.
So it was either fly and hire or drive.
What we decided to do was combine this trip with a stop at LEGOLAND Denmark, Timber Rafting and then ferry from Sweden to Poland to visit the wife’s family in at the house near Wyszkow.
So the plan was made and we started getting ready for this trip thinking what would we need. I kept packing, re-packing and packing again and finally got the camping equipment down to food box, trangia, tents x 2, sleeping mats and sleeping bags and few other bits.
Driving to Harwich which is only an hour from us for the overnight ferry to the Hook of Holland. We arrived in the Netherlands at 06:45 and where on the road for a 7 hour journey to our hotel near to LEGOLAND Denmark.
It was a fairly straight forward drive and spent 2 days with the boys in LEGOLAND before taking the ferry from Hirtshals to Larvik.
The plan was to drive around Oslo into Sweden but en-route I noticed a ferry that crossed below Oslo from Horten to Moss which was cheap enough and only took 40 mins and from then with 1 hour we had reached the Swedish border and we started to look for a campsite.
In Sweden there is The Right of Public Access (‘Allemansrätt’), or Outdoor Access Rights gives you the right to roam the countryside in Sweden in perfect peace and quiet.
Here we spent most of the day rolling huge logs and tying them together. It was difficult for the boys to help as they where too small and logs where big and could hurt them easily so a lot of time was spent trying to keep them in check as they where getting bored just standing around.
We had finished a day early so we had to get all the equipment of and disassemble the raft log by log where they would float down river and be caught in a log trap and be moved back up river for other people to use.